Photoshop Basics

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most powerful software applications for image editing, touch up, color correction, and painting and drawing. You can use it to work with images that have been digitized on flatbed or film/slide scanners, or to create original artwork. The image files you create in Photoshop can be printed to paper or optimized for use in multimedia presentations, web pages, or animation/video projects.

Work Area


• Contains selection tools, painting and editing tools, foreground and background color selection boxes, and viewing tools
• To select, simply click on the icon on the toolbox (the name of each tool will appear by positioning the pointer over the icon)
• A small triangle at the bottom corner of the icon indicates the presence of additional hidden tools

• Control behavior of its tools
• Windows menu displays a list of available palettes
• When selected, the palette will appear as a floating  window on the opened workspace
• To activate a palette click on its tab

Common Palettes
Common Palettes

• Displays the color values for the currently selected foreground and background colors


• Displays a generic set of colors, but the true value of the Swatches palette is in its ability to load custom swatch collections


• Displays all the layers in an image


• Records and displays individual changes made to an image and allows for changes to be undone


Learning how to select areas of an image is of primary importance when working with Photoshop since you must first select what you want to edit. Selections allow you to isolate areas in your image and apply different effects or filters without affecting the rest of the image. There are four basic selection tools in the toolbox.

Selections 1. The marquee tool allows you to select rectangular or elliptical areas in an image.
2. The lasso tool lets you draw a freehand
selection area, with either curves or straight
3. The Spot Healing Brush removes blemishes,
imperfections, and red eye.
4. The move tool let you move a selection
marquee or objects on a single layer.
5. The brush tool paints brush strokes.
6. The text
tool creates text or type on a photo.
7. The zoom tool magnifies or reduces the size
of an image.
8. Photoshop uses the foreground color to
paint, fill, and stroke selections and the
background color to make gradient fills and
fill in the erased areas of an image.


Every Photoshop image contains one or more layers. Every new file is created with a background, which can be converted to a layer. When you scan an image and open it in Photoshop, it is placed on the background. Layers are a fundamental part of Photoshop’s versatility.

A layer is a transparency sheet with an image on it.  You can edit, transform, or add filters to a layer independently from other layers.  You can make one layer alter the look of a layer above or below it.  You can save a file with the layers and easily change your design later, by editing
one or more of the layers.

Masks can be used to block out one area of an image or protect it from manipulations.  A mask is a selection shown as a grayscale image: the white areas are selected, the black areas are


Thanks, #2007 MBEA Summer Conference

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